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National Hospice/Palliative Care Month

Decades ago, most people died at home, but medical advances have changed that. Today more people are choosing hospice care at the end of life.

Hospice care provides medical services, emotional support, and spiritual resources for people who are in the last stages of a terminal illness, such as cancer or heart failure. Hospice care also helps family members manage the practical details and emotional challenges of caring for a dying loved one.

The goal of hospice treatment is to keep you comfortable and improve your quality of life while you are dying. This philosophy is a shift from usual medical treatments, in which health professionals strive to cure your disease. Hospice services are not intended to speed up or prolong the dying process. They focus instead on relieving pain and other symptoms. Hospice caregivers are concerned with enhancing the quality of remaining life by keeping you as alert and comfortable as possible in a familiar environment with family and friends.

November 2010
Sources: Healthwise, HealthDay and National Institute on Aging


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